Guard/Forward – 6'7 – 175
Hamilton Southeastern High School (Fishers, IN)
National Rank: **** - Position Rank: 15
His Recruiting Story
From the beginning Zak Irvin was a talented basketball player that recruited Michigan as much as the Wolverine's staff did so in return. With requisite size, athleticism and perimeter shooting ability, Irvin was the type of player Michigan was looking for. By February 2011, Irvin and his family had already visited Ann Arbor five times; so when it came time to head up to the Wolverine's elite camp the following June in hopes of earning a scholarship offer, he approached the competition as if it were the most important try-out of his life.
GoBlueWolverine's Andre Barthwell had this to say after Day Two of Michigan's Elite Camp in 2011 on Irvin: "Here is what could separate Zak from other prospects in one word…aggressiveness. When he has it he is a totally different player. Saturday that was his mindset. He seemed to be on a mission to send a clear message to both his opponents and the Michigan coaching staff. That needs to be his mentality at all times. We already know how well he can shoot it from the outside, but now he is trying to put it on the deck more to score it. On a number of occasions he grabbed the rebound and dribbled coast to coast through traffic for a high percentage opportunity. It appeared as if he was auditioning to let people know how good he can be. Irvin was in aggressive, hustle, and get after It mode yesterday. Even though he didn't have his best day shooting he was still one of the day's top performers because of how he got after it. It was great to see."
After that strong camp performance in front of the Michigan coaching staff, Irvin was offered a scholarship by the Wolverines on June 15th and wasted little time accepting that offer, verbally committing to Michigan on July 31st. For Irvin, the decision to be a Wolverine and play in the Big Ten conference came easy.
"The coaching staff is a big reason I chose to play at Michigan I am close to the staff and confident in what they can teach me to be a better player," said Irvin after committing. "Michigan's system fits my style of play using ball screens and coming off of them to score. I made my mind up and I just felt like it would be best to attend Michigan, I feel such a relief about choosing them."
Now committed to the Wolverines, Irvin turned his attention to his junior basketball season at Hamilton Southeastern. With now-Michigan State freshman shooting guard Gary Harris to play alongside, Irvin found his own niche and areas to impact the game, specifically on the offensive end. GoBlueWolverine was in attendance for Hamilton Southeastern's win over Bowman Academy this past February when Irvin poured in 28 points. Afterwards, Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Brian Snow had this to say the Irvin's development.
"His shot has looked great recently; that's really the growth area he's made from beginning to end. That's what he's going to have to do in college… a lot of catch and shoot mid-range type of stuff. He's long, he's rangy, and it's tough to contest his shot; so as he gets more consistent shooting the ball, that's where you're going to see him make his impact at the college level. He's done a good job of improving in that way as the season's gone on."
After falling short in the playoffs to end his high school season, Irvin took to the 2012 AAU circuit with a motivated spirit, knowing and understanding that his days with the Eric Gordon All-Stars were limited. With issues and an injury at the point guard position, Irvin was forced into the role of floor general at times, specifically during the July evaluation period. With the added responsibility, Irvin flourished, continuing to showcase his skills from distance while also adding an aggressive dribble drive game to his already enticing basketball skill set. Throw in the fact that Irvin's on the ball defense and intensity was at an all time high, and Irvin drew rave remarks from Snow after the Adidas Invitational, eventually leading to the addition of a fourth star with a huge jump into the Scout.com Top 100.
"Making the biggest jump into the top 100 was Zak Irvin who checks in at No. 62. The future Michigan Wolverine had an inconsistent high school season, but responded by picking things up in April and May, and then took his game to new levels in July. At just shy of 6-foot-7 he is someone who can really put points on the board when he gets going, and is refining his game in terms of playing better within the team concept and making plays off the bounce."
Heading into his senior season at Southeastern, Irvin will get his shot at leading the team, being the go to guy in pressure situations that are sure to arise.
Zak Irvin is another Michigan recruit, now signee, that John Beilein and his impressive coaching staff identified and bonded with early in his high school career. Since his sophomore year, Irvin has done nothing but improve his game, and grew in size. Now a legitimate 6'7, Irvin is putting his game together at the perfect time. Once simply known for being a streaky outside shooter, Irvin now brings leadership, intensity, penetration skills, passing ability and a relentless effort defensively that is sure to ignite and excite fans once he arrives in Ann Arbor in June of 2013. The injury at point guard for the Eric Gordon All-Stars turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Irvin in July as he significantly improved and showcased his versatility as a basketball player. Looking up to and fancying himself as the next Tim Hardaway Jr., Irvin should have no issue fitting in in Beilein's offense, and adds yet another multi-dimensional player to a roster filled with those in his category.
Highlights of Irvin from the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis this past July.